John Hitch | Commercial vehicle group
Jack Poster, TMC services manager (left) and Robert Ziemba, senior director of marketing at Decisiv (right) discuss the latest findings from the latest TMC/Decisiv joint VMRS report.

Report: Parts, labor costs stabilize in late 2023

March 11, 2024
Parts costs dropped by 2.2% year-over-year in Q4, but labor still was up 4%. The question now, is what can fleets do with this VMRS-based knowledge?

NEW ORLEANS—Maintenance budgeting hasn’t been easy in the first half of the 2020s, as volatility in the supply chain and economy have led to uncertainty in what parts a fleet can get and how much they’ll cost, along with how much to pay the technician using them for repair and replacement jobs.

According to Decisiv and TMC’s latest VMRS (Vehicle Maintenance Reporting Standards) System Service Data Quarterly Report, Q4 of 2023 did provide some relief to this issue. According to the report announced at the 2024 TMC Annual Meeting, parts and labor costs declined 1.4% over Q3 2023, with parts dropping 2.2% and labor by a scant 0.2%. From Q2 to Q3, parts and labor had risen 1.9%. Year over year, parts costs were down 2.2%, however, labor rates were 4% higher than in 2022. This led to an overall 0.2% P&L cost increase YOY.

The full report is available to all registered TMC members.

Parts breakdown

Overall, P&L costs are “trending down” and the recent data are “all good signs that the inflationary pressures [from the COVID pandemic and recovery] are definitely easing,” Robert Ziemba, senior director of marketing at Decisiv, told media on TMC press day. Key factors have been improvements in the supply chain and new trucks becoming available.

According to the report, powerplant (045) accounts for a third of service costs, followed by exhaust (043) at 15%, and cooling (042) and brakes (013), both around 6%.

From 2022 to 2023, there were some significant part and labor cost increases in certain areas:

  • Power take off (056): 17.5%
  • Wheels, rims, hubs, and bearing (018): 14.6%
  • Cab and sheet metal (002): 13%

From Q3 to Q4, 2023, aerodynamic devices (004) saw an 8.2% spike in P&L costs.

At one point—from Q2 2020 to Q2 2021—several critical systems were seeing large spikes: lighting systems costs rose 17.4%, transmissions costs by 16.4%, and brakes by 11.1%.

On the other side, there were some notable P&L decreases from Q3 to Q4 2023:

  • Tires (017): -15%
  • Steering (015): 11.4%
  • Cooling systems (042): 10.2%

Read more at, a Bulk Transporter affiliate.

About the Author

John Hitch | Senior Editor